indenture

[in-den-cher]
noun
1.
a deed or agreement executed in two or more copies with edges correspondingly indented as a means of identification.
2.
any deed, written contract, or sealed agreement.
3.
a contract by which a person, as an apprentice, is bound to service.
4.
any official or formal list, certificate, etc., authenticated for use as a voucher or the like.
5.
the formal agreement between a group of bondholders and the debtor as to the terms of the debt.
verb (used with object), indentured, indenturing.
7.
to bind by indenture, as an apprentice.
8.
Archaic. to make a depression in; indent; wrinkle; furrow.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English < Medieval Latin indentūra. See indent1, -ure

indentureship, noun
unindentured, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
indenture (ɪnˈdɛntʃə)
 
n
1.  any deed, contract, or sealed agreement between two or more parties
2.  (formerly) a deed drawn up in duplicate, each part having correspondingly indented edges for identification and security
3.  (often plural) a contract between an apprentice and his master
4.  a formal or official list or certificate authenticated for use as a voucher, etc
5.  a less common word for indentation
 
vb
6.  (intr) to enter into an agreement by indenture
7.  (tr) to bind (an apprentice, servant, etc) by indenture
8.  obsolete (tr) to indent or wrinkle
 
in'dentureship
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

indenture
"contract for services," c.1300, from Anglo-Fr. endenture, from O.Fr. endenteure "indentation," from endenter (see indent). Such contracts (especially between master craftsmen and apprentices) were written in full identical versions on a sheet of parchment, which was then
cut apart in a zigzag, or "notched" line. Each party took one, and the genuineness of a document of indenture could be proved by juxtaposition with its counterpart.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Servants are those which serve only for a few years, according to the time of
  indenture, or the custom of the country.
The terms of the indenture governing our senior notes do not fully prohibit us
  or our subsidiaries from doing so.
If people choose to indenture themselves, that is there business.
To keep costs down, the state allows individual employers to indenture people.
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